(#132) The Proverbs of Solomon 18:6-7-I Dare You

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 18:6-7: “A fool’s lips enter into contention, And his mouth calls for blows. 7 A fool’s mouth is his destruction, And his lips are the snare of his soul.”

Reckless challenges are foolish enough (“I dare you to…”), but to dare someone to increase punishment is also senseless! A “fool’s” words: [1] start with “contention;” [2] escalate to “blows;” [3] brings self-“destruction;” [4] jeopardizes his/her own “soul.”

[1] Whether overcome by drugs or liquor, the heat of the moment, arrogance or ignorance, it is a “fool” who starts “contention.” Contentions are the aggravations that light the fires of fury, NOT honest investigations resulting in understanding truth. Christians must “avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife” (2 Timothy 2:23). Scoffers deny truth and cause meaningless contentions. “Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave; Yes, strife and reproach will cease” (Proverbs 22:3). “It is honorable for a man to stop striving, Since any fool can start a quarrel” (Proverbs 20:3).

[2] The challenge to fight is usually accepted, and to what purpose? Violence never proved the truth of an argument! It is true that “the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:20). Elders in the churches of Christ must not “be quarrelsome,” i.e. not quick to fight (1 Timothy 3:2-3)! Wisdom should rule in such situations: “A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).

[3] The “fool” is just asking for more pain, heartache, and deprivation, and will probably get it!

[4] Eternal damnation hangs in the balance, for Jesus Christ taught: “that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37).

The rest of us need to back away from every fool whose mouth is asking to be stopped!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

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